Different Types of Noise

When you live or work in constant noise, it becomes a dull hum to you. Every once in a while you might absent mindedly tune in to realize that your environment really is quite loud, but more often than not, you are immune to the sound. Even though you don’t hear it, however, it has an effect on your body.

Perhaps that’s why I’m always so tired…

Today was one of those “Hey, turn it down!” days. I was sitting at my desk, which is conveniently located on the manufacturing plant floor, when it struck me that I should probably be wearing ear plugs. It’s not that the plant is dangerously loud. As far as plants go, it’s actually quite quiet. But somehow I managed to tune in and it made me wonder if I had just located the source of my exhaustion. Am I on edge? Now that I hear it, do I also feel a correlation with some previously unexplained muscle tension? My neck started throbbing immediately.

I took those trains of thought and sent them on an express track toward Dreamland. (Luckily, Tuesdays are slower days for me as far as customer reports go so I can afford to take the trip from time to time). I started thinking about life at a quiet job – or better yet, a dream job! How different would I seem if you ran into me during the work week? No more bloodshot eyes! Always freshly showered. No wrinkles in my clothes. I’d be bubbling with energy!

I came home to a light Spring storm and opened my window and sliding door. The rain was soothing and the birds were joining in to celebrate the day. That’s when I realized that it’s not about the decibel level. My whole body relaxed and, oddly enough, my much-needed nap was allowed to pass me by as I stayed awake to actively relax. It’s beautiful – the sound of nature.

It’s been raining off and on the entire evening and the sun is only now beginning to set. There’s a difference between NOISE and (perhaps even music). As I soak in all of the tension-relieving sounds, I have to accept that I’ll be right back at the grind tomorrow (we actually have two machine specifically for grinding – how nice).

Sad to say, I am beginning to think that you let a piece of you die when you accept the call to adulthood…

To Thank My Beautiful Mother

I am amazed at the difference a few months can make. I feel like 2010 has been and continues to be the fastest year of my life so far and one of the most pertinent to my personal growth.

I just woke up from a nap and I feel really grateful for the opportunity to catch up on sleep. This week has absolutely kicked my butt and handed it to me. Some of the activities that I lent my energy to this week were chosen (such as going out after work to catch up with friends, getting some time in at the driving range, spending time with my roommate) while others were necessary (such as filling in for one of my co-workers during my third week on the job with little instruction, introducing new changes to the way we process purchase orders, meeting with salesmen to locate and predict shipment times for parts, communicating with vendors), but in total, they were exhausting (albeit fun/exciting)!

Exhaustion now holds a very different connotation than exhaustion then. During my internship experiences (then), I was constantly exhausted. I resented work for holding me back from excitement and for stealing all of my energy; I couldn’t comprehend how anyone could log so many hours in one place and not loathe it as I did. Luckily, I made a huge effort in my last internship to be positive despite feeling stifled. I didn’t want people to know because I didn’t want to bring them down. I wanted everyone to think that I was happy and could hang in during the toughest weeks. It wasn’t easy. But it was all I had.

Now, I still feel held back (concert, travel, or outdoor opportunities have come my way since accepting this job of which I would love to have been a part), but it’s no longer stifling. I think the change in interpretation has to do with several things and has definitely been influenced by my attitude adjustment, but I think that it’s glaringly obvious that accounting did not match up with my personality or desires in any of the key ways a career must. I learned a lot during my internships with public accounting and I carry some of the structure and ways of analyzing situations with me into my new position, but in total – it just didn’t fit.

I think that was a huge drain on me during college. I wanted so badly to discover my calling (and hadn’t yet read “Just Do Something” by Kevin DeYoung). I couldn’t see past school or the roles that were held in high esteem for Grand Valley graduates with accounting degrees. I thought I was trapped and it felt hopeless. My senior year (with one left to go), I can still vividly picture it, I broke down in my little two-person condo with my boyfriend at the time bawling at the thought of being stuck in accounting for the rest of my life. He tried to assure me that it would be okay or that I could change my major if I felt stuck, as he had done himself, but I couldn’t see it. I knew I needed to graduate and I thought that graduating with accounting meant that I was going to be a public accountant. I never could’ve predicted being a production coordinator. Life has a funny way of opening your eyes and allowing you to grow in ways you hadn’t imagined.

So I went in to work today to create the necessary documents to send out some parts. I delivered them to Fedex. When I got home, I napped. I’m not angry that I couldn’t go to the Blueberry Festival with my friends (disappointed, yes – but it doesn’t set the tone of my day). I’m not mad that I wasted hours of my weekend at work and sleeping because they weren’t wasted. I’m glad the parts got out the door and I’m so grateful for caught up sleep. And I’m in no way feeling resentful.


I think that it can be difficult for people who have just met me to accept me where I am. I am an idealist when it comes to personal growth and I’m always striving to live in a more positive direction these days. But that wasn’t always the case. I spent too much time being complacent, being afraid, being angry or rude, sad and even depressed. I focused on negatives or neutrals. There’s a disconnect that exists between the two and someone who meets me now doesn’t understand that; they don’t understand how it can be very difficult to match my idealist words with my very humanly flawed actions.

And so it has been the occasion recently in the past year that people meet me and jump right on board with my quest for personal growth. I think they think they discovered a light in me that perhaps they want to share or watch develop or think is more developed than it is. It’s happened more than once now that a person has come into my life, jumped in with my progress, and ended up expecting more of me than I could give, pushing me further than I want to be pushed, and completely misjudged my situation. The thing about personal growth, it’s entirely personal. It cannot be guided with a hand from behind or led with a hand in front. It can’t even be faced arm-in-arm.

Don’t take my things and make them yours. It’s like any relationship, if you spend too much time with the other person you begin to lose sight of yourself. The saddest thing is that I thought I had learned the warnings signs, but I hadn’t. When I saw my words being picked and chosen to form this ideal image of me, I wasn’t firm enough in voicing the most important things:

  • I need to take things at my own pace.
  • I am in the midst of a growing period.
  • That growing period began in the most painful period of life that I have experienced.
  • That growing period continues; I am not there yet.
  • The pain has subsided, it has not been erased and it is still very real.

I hope that had I voiced these things with clarity in communication, I wouldn’t be in the same position as I am with these people. Their judgements and ease of communicating disappointment are mind-blowing to me. You don’t know what it’s like to be me. If I have learned anything about people, it is that we experience the same things differently. You voice your opinions and you don’t know their damaging nature or irrelevance or ignorance. You’ve no right to speak so freely about things you know little of.

Sometimes, I am convinced that my mom is the only person who understands what I have experienced and accomplished in the past year. I know this because when I try to tell her, she doesn’t respond with a similar story of her own, but she cries because she understands that she cannot understand. And I think that is the most comfort anyone can give me. Accept that you do not know and celebrate my joys with me but do not judge what you cannot know.

For that, I would like to thank my beautiful mother.

Sunny Sunday, I have to pass you by.


Sunday. The day of rest work… Weird.

I’ll be heading into work today. I have to get everything wrapped up today so that Monday I’m smooth sailing and can take care of all of the little things that will get sent back to me right before the deadline. I don’t mind putting in the extra work; it needs to get done. However, giving up my Sunday is not ideal. I put in over 70 hours this past week – my first real taste of busy season, so I’m told – and I’m exhausted. Not to mention, I’m missing disc golf for this today!

With everything wrapping up on this end, I’m starting to see things move in my life. Thursday is my last day at work. We get out at 3pm and head right into our April 15th party. Friday is my sorority formal in Grand Rapids followed by a Sunday morning at Mars Hill with my girlfriends. Back to Westland for appointments and meetings on Monday then back to Grand Rapids for grad fest (unless I can work my way out of it). Off to Rochester for some ink on the 22nd and Grand Rapids to see Carrie Underwood in concert on the 23rd. I graduate on the 1st and have a 25 page paper to start and finish before then. Then I move – possibly in with a friend/in a place by myself/or with complete strangers. May 8th is Mother’s Day. The 11th is my 23rd birthday. And I’m finishing up this “planned spontaneity” in Chicago that weekend to see friends that mean the world to me. Welcome to my fast-paced life – taking some time to live it the way I want to live it!

Carpe diem! I’m so filled to the brim with excitement and anticipation; I imagine these next few days will crawl as I (try not to) look ahead of the moment. 😉

I did manage to get a jump-start on the adventure this weekend, however, despite my 70 hours.

Taking a trip to East Lansing on Friday night with a friend to meet up with some of our other friends from college proved that I have people in my life which are well worth a late night road trip even when the thought of a Saturday work day looms overhead the next morning! I feel very fortunate to have such good friends in my life – and friend that don’t let circumstance get in the way. It can be a frightening thing to go through changes in life that have the potential to shuffle around friendships and have people choosing sides. It’s an amazing thing to realize that the fear is unfounded and that I have friends that are above drawing lines. Who wants lines anyway?

“Here Comes the Sun” The Beatles

Pour a glass; it's time to un(wine)d.

Tonight, I attempted to burn the midnight oil at work but called it quits around 11:15pm so I could walk out with a coworker. I’m incredibly busy right now and this project that I had previously sunk days into from February has finally come back to me, as was promised – though I hoped I could manage to avoid it. In the past two days, I have logged 6.75 hours into this one project and in the end, I walked out today with nothing more than an empty recycle bin on my desktop.

It’s ridiculous to admit, but tears welled up in my eyes as I entered my time tonight. I have 51 assignments in my “work in process” bin right now and those are only the ones for which I have bothered to route myself the workflow; there are more on my desk or buried in my e-mail inbox – no exaggeration.

There’s a lesson to be learned in this. What it is – I couldn’t say for certain but lessons are always discovered in times of frustration. Here’s what I think it might be: I have an amazing foundation of friends.

Yes – in the face of work, budgets, time restraints, assignments, deadlines, and impossible projects, this is my conclusion. I’m blessed. Little texts or phone calls or even songs on the radio remind me that I’ve got a great support system. I don’t think I’ve ever been so aware of it before as I have been during these past few months. My friends are always in my thoughts and prayers and although I often find myself too busy to make that phone call or drive out, they always seem to find ways to check in with me.

In closing, I’ve gotta share this prayer my mom gave me from the church services she attended this past Sunday. I feel like perhaps God had a way of ensuring it would get into my hands:

“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”

Btw, I can type a ridiculous amount of words per minute. Chalk one up to the internship!

“How Far Do You Wanna Go” Gloriana